Today’s Links: June 7, 2012


NICK GILLESPIE (Interview on NPR): “Do Plastic Bag Bans Help the Environment?
“[T]his comes down to a question of, you know, potentially not necessarily even differing values but differing valuations. To go back to something that Mike said, the city of Santa Monica when it was looking at a bag tax – and Santa Monica, I’ve lived in California. I’ve lived in Los Angeles. Santa Monica is very, very up on, you know, what we can possibly do to get rid of the last nanoparticle of anything that might be perceived as pollution. But they concluded that banning plastic bags would have absolutely no impact on their environmental situation, including in which includes a lot of waterfront. So again what I’m saying, you know, you’re question is what’s the harm? It’s only a nickel or it’s only 19 bucks or 20 bucks a year or something like that. My question is – partly is, what’s, you know, what’s the good?”

ERIK JAFFE: “Which City Might Try to Ban Huge Sodas Next?
“Bloomberg’s time as mayor has been filled with the passage of public health initiatives that were at the head of the national curve, and sometimes even set it. While many of these efforts were greeted with skepticism, a great number of cities (not to mention states and even countries) eventually came to embrace similar policies. Using this history as its guide, Atlantic Cities embarked on an attempt to deduce which major city might be the next to follow in Bloomberg’s cup holder and pursue a ban on large sugary drinks.”

HAKEEM JEFFRIES: “Marijuana Law Just Creates Criminals
“More than 50,000 people in 2011 were arrested in New York City for possessing small amounts of marijuana — the majority of whom were black and Latino — at a considerable judicial and financial cost. New York City spends about $75 million every year on arresting people for recreational marijuana possession. But what many people don’t know is that the state decriminalized this offense more than 30 years ago, making private possession of less than 25 grams of marijuana a violation punishable by a $100 fine.”


PRIVACY – IE 10?s ‘Do-Not-Track’ Default Dies Quick Death
“The latest proposed draft of the Do Not Track specification published Wednesday requires that users must choose to turn on the anti-behavioral tracking feature in their browsers and software. That means that Microsoft IE 10, which the company announced last week will have Do Not Track turned on by default, won’t be compliant with the official spec.”

CHINA – China tells US to Stop Tweets on Beijing’s Bad Air
“China told foreign embassies Tuesday to stop publishing their own reports on air quality in the country, escalating its objections to a popular U.S. Embassy Twitter feed that tracks pollution in smoggy Beijing.”

MARRIAGE – Judge: Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional
“A law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman was found unconstitutional by a federal judge in New York on Wednesday because it improperly interferes with states’ rights to regulate marriage.”